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Is alcohol good for the heart?

Is alcohol good for the heart?This surprise situation was called the French paradox when it was understood that coronary artery disease was less common in the French society, where smoking is common and who likes to consume fatty foods, than other societies.

Although this benefit was initially explained by the antioxidant and anticoagulant effects of red wine, which protects the arteries from atherosclerosis, later studies have resulted in similar findings in other alcoholic beverages and in other populations as well.

What is scientifically accepted today is that those who consume 3-9 measures of alcoholic beverages per week, including a glass of wine, a glass of beer or a single measure of raki, are slightly less likely to experience diseases and deaths caused by vascular enlargement, such as heart attacks and strokes

This beneficial effect is seen in middle and older ages rather than young people. Alcohol is known to increase HDL cholesterol, known as "good cholesterol", to delay clot formation, to have antioxidant and to prevent inflammation in the vascular wall, and it is believed that this benefit comes from a combination of these.

However, based on this beneficial effect seen in small amounts of alcohol intake, placing the judgment that alcohol is beneficial for the heart, advising people to drink alcohol as if prescribed is an unconscious approach that carries many important risks.
Alcoholic beverages, which are legal and easily accessible products, have a significant addiction potential. The increase in alcohol consumption is seen as a worrying development all over the world. In our country, one out of every 4-5 people over the age of 15 uses alcohol and the annual consumption of alcoholic beverages per capita has increased in the last 10 years and has exceeded 20 liters. In addition, it is reported that the age of starting alcohol has decreased to 11.
We need to emphasize that the social and psychological problems caused by the use of alcohol in excess of a reasonable dose, many health problems from low birth weight to severe liver diseases, from immune system disorders to cancers, as well as the multifaceted harms of excessive alcohol consumption for our heart and veins.

Alcohol and substances such as acetaldehyde and acetate, which alcohol is converted into the body, are poisonous for the muscle tissue of the heart that pumps blood. Substances such as lead and cobalt in some alcoholic beverages also negatively affect the functions of the heart muscle. Even in those who have no complaints and use small amounts of alcohol, it can be detected that the pumping and relaxation functions of the heart muscle are suppressed in the imaging of the heart with echocardiography. In those who use alcohol for a long time, regularly and in large quantities, the heart muscle can lose its functions due to this poison, and the result can be severe heart failure.

High blood pressure is more common in alcohol users, and if a hypertension patient uses alcohol, treatment becomes more difficult. Alcohol increases some fats in the blood, which can create a risk of atherosclerosis, with its effect on the liver. It can cause some rhythm diseases by negatively affecting the heart rhythm.

Finally, it is a fact that the calories of alcoholic beverages are quite high and that being overweight and obese paves the way for cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes.

It is never right to recommend alcohol, which is a substance with a high habit-forming potential, that has a toxic effect on our heart, circulatory system and all other body cells, as if it were a drug for those who have never used it.

Although the limit that it will not be harmful in long-term use is accepted as 14 measures per week for men and 9 measures for women, it is more accurate to use this information to limit the amount of alcohol consumed.

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